So last time on Orozco’s Automotive Blog we covered your engine’s timing belt, which is undeniably one of the most important Components in keeping your engine running smoothly – but this week, we’re gonna talk about something more basic, something that everyone is familiar with, or at least has heard of: the oil change. What does your motor oil do? How often should it be changed? And of course, why should you choose Orozco’s Automotive in Bellflower and Long Beach to work on your car?
First off, what is an oil change? Well, an oil change actually involves changing both the car’s motor oil and the oil filter. Old, worn-out oil is drained from the engine and the crankcase is refilled with new oil, and the used, dirty oil filter is also exchanged for a new one. It may sound relatively simple and easy, but for some cars the operation is actually rather hard, and in addition, there are several areas where it can easily go wrong, leading to much bigger problems.
An engine is a massively complex, precise machine, which operates on hundreds or even thousands of moving parts, and the fact is that if one of these parts is installed incorrectly or wears out, especially something as critical as motor oil, the entire engine could potentially become useless. It is not an uncommon occurrence for somebody to try to change their own oil and put on the wrong filter, forget to take off the old gasket, forget to put on the new gasket, or even forget to put on the new filter, all of which could lead to expensive engine damage or, in the worst case, a destroyed engine.
Motor oil does exactly what it sounds like – lubricates. It is designed to lubricate the moving parts of the engine so that they operate more smoothly and last longer. Without motor oil, an engine’s parts would grind together and quickly fail, and it would only last a small fraction of the time that it is designed to.
But why does motor oil have to be changed? Why doesn’t it last forever like the canola oil in your kitchen pantry? Well motor oil, due to the high operating temperature of a car engine, suffers from thermal breakdown which diminishes its effectiveness as a lubricant. Most motor oils also contain additives designed to neutralize acids, which are used up and become ineffective over time. Finally, the oil will absorb dust, dirt, metal particles, and other debris from the engine’s operation, which, if the oil is not changed regularly, can remain in the engine and begin causing corrosion.
Oil is one of the easiest and most important Components that you can take care of to maintain your engine’s performance and longevity, and dirty oil is much less effective than clean oil. An oil change is relatively cheap, especially compared to the problems which will arise from putting off an oil change for too long and having to perform major repairs.
How often should a car’s motor oil be changed? As with most maintenance items, every manufacturer’s recommendation is different, but a good general rule to follow is to change your oil around every 5,000 miles. It is true that the improved technology and more durable synthetic oils used in modern cars can last longer – some people say that you shouldn’t need an oil change for 8,000 or even 10,000 miles or more in a late-model car – but you can’t go wrong changing it at least every 5,000 miles. Wouldn’t you rather spend a few extra dollars every few months and take the precaution instead of risking a several thousand dollar repair bill to save not that much money? Depending on your driving conditions, vehicle, and oil type, sometimes it is even advisable to change your oil every 3,000 miles, but in the end the best way to determine what is best for your vehicle is to consult your owner’s manual.
In addition to regularly changing your engine’s motor oil, it is important to check your oil level by checking the reading on the dipstick every few hundred miles. If your oil level seems to be decreasing, you most likely have an oil leak or your engine has started burning oil. Both of these can be signs of very serious problems, and you should call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to diagnose your problem.
At Orozco’s Automotive, we are happy to help you. We can change your oil quickly for a good price, and help with any other questions problems you are having with your motor oil. Our team of professionally trained and certified mechanics will work with you to figure out what your car needs and get it done with service you can trust. If you need an oil change or suspect that your car is leaking or burning oil, call Orozco’s Auto Service today at (562)-427-4256 and schedule an appointment. Orozco’s Auto Service IS the most trusted shop in Long Beach!